“I Am Just As Bad As Everyone Else”

The crossword would start the day, and then she would glance at the new itself, trying to avoid the salacious court cases which seemed to take up more and more newspaper columns. There was such an obsession with human weakness and failing; with the tragedies of peoples’ lives; with the banal affairs of actors and singers. You had to be aware of human weakness, of course, because it simply was, but to revel in it seemed to her to be voyeurism, or even a form of moralistic tale telling. And yet, she thought, do I not read these things myself? I do. I am just as bad as everybody else, drawn to these scandals. She smiled ruefully, noticing the heading: MINISTER’S SHAME ROCKS PARISH. Of course she would read that, as everybody else would, although she knew that behind the story was a personal tragedy, and all the embarrassment that goes with that.

– Alexander McCall Smith, The Sunday Philosophy Club.

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